Renowned businessman and Barber, Kem Johnson, takes entrepreneurship to the next level for young people.
The Premium Barbershop
Founder and owner of Kem’s Unisex Barbershops and Salons; Kem, 35, started cutting hair at 14-years-old at his local youth club. At the age of 24 he launched Kem’s Unisex Barbers, established in 2008.
To date, Kem’s Unisex Barbers is one of the leaders across the Midlands for Afro-Caribbean and European hair. With 3 locations across the Midlands, the company has seen hundreds of thousands of customers pass through their seats over the last decade.
With customers coming from all over the UK to get their shape up’s and fades, including stars such as Nicki Minaj’s manager. Kem’s barbershops also have built-in Salons that cater to women’s hair; providing styles such as braids, weaves, wigs, cuts and trims.
As a self-made entrepreneur, Kem started his companies from nothing and now turns over thousands of pounds each year. With intrinsic determination and financial support from the Princes Trust to launch his company, Kem grew his business from a team of one, and now employs multiple staff to run his barbershops.
With a focus on customer service, Kem’s Unisex Barbers uses qualified barbers and hairdressers across their sites making them a little different to most.
The barbershops operate a unique booking and service system that allows all of their customers to book their hair appointments online and select the type of barber, or hairdresser they’d like. So whether you’re after a premium cut or something simple you’ll be served on time, with no queues and no waiting around.
Giving Back To The Youth
From the success of his Barbershops, Kem has also made a concerted effort to work with young people across the Midlands by training and taking on several young apprentices from the ages of 16 and upward.
By giving young people the tools and shears to develop their craft, some have gone on to becoming full-time barbers within the Kem’s shops, with others moving on to complete college and university degrees.
As a role model in the community Kem launched the Black Young Entrepreneur Expo in 2019, a business and entrepreneur exhibition that celebrates all things black and business across the UK.
Hosted at the iconic West Bromwich Football Club, Kem and his team turned the grounds into the universal networking place for Black businesses and young entrepreneurs from across the Midlands with over 200 people attending the event.
When asked why did you want to set up the Black Young Entrepreneur Expo? Kem’s response was…
“I noticed there were a lot of people doing great things individually, whether it be starting a business, making and producing music or dancing etc. But it was all social media based, there was nothing collective to bring everyone together to share, network and provide opportunities. So I saw launching the Black Young Entrepreneur Expo as a way of creating wealth within the community bringing us all together in the most positive way I know how.”
Kem also offered 8 quick tips for men when it comes to maintaining their hair:
Kem’s Top Tips For Men’s Hair
- Castor Oil is key. The darker the oil, the higher the concentration, the better the quality.
- Always check the ingredients to ensure products you are using on your hair are natural. Chemicals will damage your hair.
- Don’t buy cheap. Buy quality. The best quality hair products are not cheap but provide great results, find out what works well for your hair and go from there.
- Wash and condition your hair regularly
- Use a hair mask to rejuvenate your hair once or twice a month. See our article on how to create your own Avocado hair mask for just 99p!
- Steam your hair at least once a month
- Don’t expect instant results when it comes to growing and maintaining your hair.
- Remember, your hair is like a plant, you need to water it
Having been in business for over 10 years, Kem also had 5 top tips when it comes to starting a hair business.
Kem’s 5 Top Tips On Starting a Business
- Look for support in friends and family – they will help promote and push your business where possible
- Don’t give up, things will go wrong, you have to believe in your product or service.
- Don’t take your work home with you.
- Have a work-life balance, don’t let work consume you
- Have specific and realistic business goals
Check out Kem’s Unisex Barbershop here.